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Morrisons to introduce paper carrier bags in all stores

Paper carrier bags will be offered in all Morrisons stores by May. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/PA Images

Morrisons has announced it will begin offering paper carrier bags to all customers as part of its drive to remove unnecessary plastic from its stores.

Welsh stores will begin offering the bags next week, followed by English and Scottish shops in May, the supermarket said.

The paper bags have been trialled in eight Morrisons stores since January and have proved popular with customers.

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They are made in Wales from paper from sustainably managed forests and are strong enough to carry heavy weights up to 16kg. They will be priced at 20p, which is the same price as Morrisons’ standard plastic carrier bags.

The paper grocery bags, which can be reused and ultimately recycled, are labelled “Reusable Paper Bag”. The superstore estimates the national roll-out will reduce plastic waste by 13,000 tonnes per year.

Andy Atkinson, group customer and marketing director at Morrisons, said: “We are taking another meaningful step that will remove an estimated 1,300 tonnes of plastic out of the environment each year.”

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“Our customers have told us reducing plastic is their number one environmental concern, so introducing the paper bag across the nation will provide another way of reducing the plastic in their lives.”

According to Morrisons, the new bag’s carbon footprint is equivalent to the standard plastic carrier bag.

Morrisons is one of the signatories to Wrap’s UK Plastics Pact, an industry initiative aimed at preventing plastic pollution by businesses.

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It already removed single use 5p carrier bags from its stores in 2018, leading to a quarter reduction in overall bag sales, and removed the plastic sleeves on cucumbers.

Customers can also now bring their own containers to the supermarket’s butchers and fishmongers counters for meat and fish.

Additionally, it announced in February that traditional brown paper bags will be used for all its loose fruit and vegetables, as opposed to plastic bags, by the end of summer.